I truly hate podcasts, workshops and webinars where the presenter spends the first quarter of the allotted time going on about how good they are, what they have achieved, the famous person they met when they were 10 years old, how they come to do what they do, and so on.
I do not care. I go to workshops and festivals for a multiple of reasons one of which is to broaden and consolidate my knowledge base.
When I pay for a workshop, and have the good manners to attend it, I expect to learn something. I do NOT want to hear how wonderful their ego is. I WANT to learn something new, to finally understand something that has puzzled me for years.
So I upset someone’s applecart, by telling the presenter to get on with the workshop. It was worthwhile when another participant came and thanked me as she thought the workshop was about a completely different topic.
The participant beside me had the ill-manners to write ‘qualitative research process’ on my notepad, without my permission. Why? I don’t know, but I guess they thought they were being helpful. What ‘qualitative research process’ is exactly, I have no idea, but will hazard a guess it is a form of learning. Unfortunately for the presenter, it is not my style of learning.
In my tertiary studies, I learnt about the different types of learning. I know some people are audio learners, and others are visual learners. I know there are kinetic learners and concrete learners. I know about the role of primacy and recency in the process of learning. I have come to accept my learning style is a mostly kinetic with a dash of visual. I loathe on the spot exercises. I actually have a very linear and logical thought process, and it does impact on my learning style.
I want information in neat and complete bundles. A 1, 2, 3 process. I do not want to waste an hour and half of my time sifting through stories looking for kernels of information. I guarantee while I am looking for one kernel I have missed three new ones. My mind needs to focus and storytelling is not a good way for me to focus. Storytelling is for the dinner party.
So the moral of this story, friends, is simple. If you are facilitating a workshop, be aware of the participant who wants to learn the greatest amount in the shortest time and leave the storytelling to the evening meal. Use storytelling to illustrate and highlight the points you are making.
Your reputation as a facilitator is dependent upon the ability to impart knowledge, not on your ability to entertain.